We escaped the threat of rainy weather once again last night, as the gloomy clouds lingering over Austin never did anything more than the slightest drizzle. The Aztex offense, on the other hand, not only rained; it poured. After coming close in the first two matches, the Aztex were finally able to decisively put their opponent away.
The Cleveland City Stars weren’t terrible, but they were back on their heels from the start. They might have been able to hold on better if Cleveland’s Ryan Stewart hadn’t decided to plant a vicious elbow in Ryan Caugherty‘s face, approximately 3 yards directly in front of the ref. Stewart was sent off with a straight red for that in the 49th minute, and there wasn’t much for the the City Stars to hang their hat on after that.
The prevailing choice for Man of the Match at the post-game supporters gathering at Cuatros was Eddie Johnson. In addition to 2 of the 3 goals and an assist on the 3rd, his tireless hustle was an inspiration.
Here’s a rundown of other post-match coverage:
- Aztex pick up first victory in team history — Austin American-Statesman
Playing with a strong tailwind in the first half, the Aztex opened aggressively as they pressured the Stars at every opportunity. The strategy quickly paid off as Yordany Alvarez picked up the ball in the middle of the field and played in Johnson with a well-weighted chip. The English forward did the rest with one touch, as he outran the Cleveland defense and lifted the bouncing ball over [Hunter] Gilstrip and into the open net.
- Austin Aztex FC defeat Cleveland City Stars 3-0 for first franchise win — AustinAztex.com
Aztex head coach Adrian Heath was understandably pleased with the team’s performance in getting the first win in franchise history.”I was a little bit critical at halftime. I felt like we should’ve been up by more than one. We were always confident that we’d win,” Heath said. “I’m really pleased Eddie got a reward for his efforts and Sully got a reward for all he does, engaging the crowd.”Johnson, following his two-goal performance, admitted it was important to get off to a fast start. “We needed to get off good since we had been starting down in the previous games. I think the guys are getting used to what it’s going to be like.”
- Aztex win first game of season — News 8 Austin
I’m glad News 8 sends a camera to the games, and includes the result in their coverage, but boy I wish they’d show more than 17 seconds (17 seconds!) of the match. Someday.
Next week is a bye week for the Red & White. Their next match is May 8 (that’s a Friday), when they’ll host the Puerto Rico Islanders‘ return to Nelson Field. Last time it was an exhibition, to help the Islanders warm up for their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal. This time, it will count.
Site note: with this post, I’m introducing the 2009 Schedule & Index. It combines a schedule of all this year’s USL-1 team games, including exhibition matches, with an index of all my pre- and post-game posts. A link to it can also be found under “Featured” in the sidebar on the right side of each page.
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